Arkansas friends fighting over winning lottery ticket

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STUTTGART, Ark. (KARK) - Two best friends are fighting over a scratch-off lottery ticket that's worth $300,000.

The two are waitresses at Sportsmans Drive-In. The Stuttgart staple's manager, Lucky, bought a roll of scratch-off lottery tickets from G&B Liquor Store for his waitresses.

Waitress Leslie Underwood said, "He told us whatever we won, it would be split between us for our Christmas bonus."

Leslie and fellow waitress, Mandy Vanhouten, scratched off their pile together at the bar.
"She handed me five and she had five," Underwood said.

Vanhouten scratched a $300,000 Fortune ticket, which cost $10, and won the top prize. Since they work the same shift, she and Underwood would each get $150,000.

Underwood said, "We were both reading the back of it trying to find the little, 'You're pranked!' But no, it was a real one."

The trick was still to come.

"We talked about how life-changing it would be and what we were going to do with this money. She even talked about giving back since it was such a blessing," said Underwood.

The two were going to claim the money together in the new year, but Wednesday Leslie saw a picture of Mandy smiling with a check from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery for $300,000 with only Mandy's name on it.

Underwood said, "She decided to take it and run." She added, "It's a little emotional."

The two have been best friends for nearly a decade.

"I helped her get the job, put in a good word, stuck my neck out for her, let her stay with me so she didn't have to drive back and forth," Underwood said."

Leslie said she has not heard from Mandy. Vanhouten also never showed up for her shift during the week.

Haley Johnson, another waitress, said, "I asked is she sick or something and she said it's a long story."

Johnson typically works a different shift with another waitress. She and her co-worker didn't win as big.

"We got a total of $10 on all the tickets," Johnson said.

Haley admits she first felt a little jealous, but now just wants Mandy to live up to the deal.

"Things have been a little hectic around here since that happened," Johnson said.

Leslie can't help but take a rare break and mull over a warning from her boss.

She said, "Lucky told us here at the bar, 'Yall won't be friends after this.' And we were like why would you say that? Money changes people. Now we see."

Leslie hopes her luck turns around, she said won't be taking any more chance with the lottery. She plans to take legal action if Mandy doesn't fork over half of the winnings. Mandy is the only person who signed the back of the ticket.